the art or science of teaching.

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After 20 years in the classroom www.wholesalejerseysfive.com , I guess I've earned the right to call myself old-school. When I came of age as a teacher, my mentors preached teacher autonomy, curriculum derived from individual teacher passions, methodology determined by the individual teacher's personality and strengths as a communicator, and assessments that matched the unique content and delivery methods of each course. We designed courses in our own likeness in the belief that if we were passionate about the material and comfortable with the delivery methods, we could engage students in a wide range of content to which they would otherwise never be exposed. Those were the clays when the "independent contractor" was celebrated for his willingness to take risks; now he is degraded for not being a "team player."

Don't get me wrong: I see the value of working with colleagues to develop curriculum and instructional methods and assessments. I also see the value of collecting and analyzing hard data, whenever possible, to determine success. But what I cannot accept is the Jaeger-LeCoultre Replica(http:www.replica-king) notion that the driving force behind all of this effort must be to prepare kids for college. I could, perhaps, be convinced that this should be the driving force, but I refuse to accept it without some debate among professional educators. If we don't openly discuss the things we value, we cannot even begin to develop common lessons or common assessments. Nor can we effectively analyze data in a manner that will help us alter our instruction in meaningful ways.

What if we threw out the assumption that college is the goal And what if we threw out the assumption that standardized tests can accurately predict a student's future mental or physical well-being What if we started with a simple question posed to teachers who have dedicated their lives to educating kids That question might be something like this: Above all else Wholesale Jerseys Five , what do you value Or more specifically, if you could give your students only one thing, what would it be

I don't know for sure how my colleagues would respond to this question because we never have these kinds of conversations anymore. But I'm willing to bet few of them would say that preparing kids to succeed in academia is their primary goal. For instance, I can almost guarantee the AP teachers would say that above all else, they want to instill a love of literature in their students. The basketball coach might say he wants to instill a team mentality in his students. The corporate transplant might say she wants her students to be prepared for the business world. The praying veteran might say he wants his kids to wrestle with their own values and come to terms with their spiritually destructive behaviors. For my part, if I could only teach my students one thing, it might be how to express themselves creatively because I happen to believe creative expression gives birth to self-discovery, personal growth, and ability to problem solve, among other things.

What would happen if we shared our values with each other Maybe we would decide that we each have something unique to offer students and we would return to the days of independent contracting. Or maybe we would decide among ourselves that we could embrace a common goal, which would allow us to move forward with the plan of Cartier Replica(http:www.imitatewatchGoodsBrandReplica-Cartier-Watches-26) developing common lessons, methods Wholesale NFL Jerseys China , and assessments (to the extent that the things we value are assessable). And then maybe we could, indeed, analyze data and develop better instructional methods. But until we have that messy, old-school discussion about what is important to us, we will never be able to engage honestly in the art or science of teaching.

So instead of watching the little red ball hypnotically bounce on the screen as we clack away zombie-like at our laptops and try to decide who should teach the rules of semicolon usage so that we can boost test scores by three points, I propose that those of us who have come to feel rather cynical about our reductive approach to education in the post-NCLB era initiate informal dialogues about what matters most to us as educators. Start with an internal dialogue. Imagine you can only give your students one thing before they leave your classroom; then ask yourself: What should it be After you've drawn some conclusions, ask your colleagues the same question, ask your administrators, ask your students, ask their parents. Ask people you meet on the street and your local alderman. Ask your mom and your own children. Get people talking again about the three Rs, character building, self-esteem Wholesale NFL Jerseys , room has balked at this thesis. There was a time when such a statement would have enraged most high school teachers. It would've started a firestorm of debate, preventing the presenter from reaching his second slide, much less leading us on a three-hour tour to Gilligan's "College-Readiness" Island.

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